Nothing says good, old-fashioned fun like a drive-in theater: grabbing a snack from the concession stand, pushing the seats back, and watching a film overhead on the projection screen—all from the comfort of your car. If you’re interested in visiting one this summer, here are 10 of the many drive-in movie theaters around New England. Next
Mansfield Drive-in, Connecticut
228 Stafford Road, Mansfield Center, Ct. 860-423-4441. mansfielddrivein.com
This three-screen outdoor theater prides itself as the only Connecticut drive-in that shows a mix of popular first-run new films and classic favorites. The shows go on rain or shine starting at 7:15 p.m. daily with special 8 a.m. screenings on Sunday. They have a full-service snack bar serving up burgers, hot dogs, fries, sodas, and all the movie staples. There is also guest access to restrooms and a playground available to kids.
The rules: The speed limit is 10 miles per hour. They don’t allow pets, fires or grilles, and sitting or lying on roofs of vehicles. They also ask that guests with vehicles over five feet park at the yellow poles located near the rear of the field.
Admission: $10 per adult; $5 per child 11 years old and younger; Wednesday carload night, $20 per car.
Pleasant Valley Drive-In, Connecticut
47 River Road, Barkhamsted, Ct, 860-379-6102, pleasantvalleydriveinmovies.com
The 67 year-old theater is known to locals as “once upon a time in America.” Step back in history at this family fun, 3-acre venue equipped with a large projection screen surrounded by pine trees and forest. Pleasant Valley recently upgraded to new digital audio and projection equipment after the old projectors—among the oldest 35mm film set-ups in operation—gave out last year. The antique projectors, which were originally acquired at auction in Boston in 1947, are now on display. The shows are on rain or shine and they serve food, drinks, and their famous popcorn. Tickets are on sale daily from 6:30 p.m.
The rules: Cash only. Credit cards are not accepted for tickets or at the snack bar.
Admission: $10 for adults. $5 for children six to 12 years old, five years old and younger are free. Thursday nights only, $20 per car. Next
Saco Drive-in, Maine
969 Portland Road, Saco, Maine. 207-284-1016. thesacodrivein.com.
The Saco Drive-in is open for weekends and admission is priced per car. Along with new and classic films, the theater has Saturday night laser tag for $3 a game from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.. On Friday and Sunday, gates open at 6:30 p.m. Movies start at 8:25 p.m. They also offer a food menu of movie and snack favorites including burgers, hot dogs, and pizza.
The rules: The first three rows are reserved for smaller cars only. Well-behaved dogs are allowed.
Admission: $15 per car.
Prides Corner Drive-in, Maine
651 Bridgton Road, Route 302, Westbrook, Maine. 207- 797-3154. pridescornerdrivein.com.
This friendly place welcomes guests with open arms to, as their mission statement says, rekindle your youthful spirit, relax, and have fun. The staff—especially owner, Andy—is enthusiastic and welcoming. They show new and older films rain or shine and staff are ready with a jump box in case car batteries die during rainy showings. Just let one of the staff members know if you need a jump. Prides Corner is also one of the only theaters currently showing films in the classic, 35mm format. Gates open at 7:30 p.m. Shows start at dusk.
The rules: Cash only.
Admission: $18 per car for up to 4 people. Each additional person $5 each.
Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre, Massachusetts
51 State Highway, Route 6, Wellfleet, MA. 508-349-7176. wellfleetcinemas.com.
Stop by and enjoy double features every night in the summer. The theater was built in 1957 and has recently been updated to a digital projection system. There is a snack bar and playground available. They also have four indoor theaters as a back-up, though they do show films rain or shine. Box office opens at 7 p.m.
The rules: While previously, they had mono speakers, they are no longer functional so guests must plan on using a FM stereo. Oversize vehicles (minivans, trucks, etc) must park in designated area and campers are allowed in the back row. The use of car horns is prohibited. Cash only for tickets, credit cards accepted at snack bar.
Admission: $9 for adults. $6 for seniors and children four to 11 years old. Children under three are free.
Leicester Drive-In, Massachusetts
1675 Main Street, Route 9, Leicester, MA. 508-892-4400. leicesterdrivein.net
Locals call this mom-and-pop place an authentic, old-fashioned slice of America. The theater has changed very little since it opened in 1967. They have an open-door policy, opening the gates well before show time so guests can enjoy the open field, play catch, set up planets and chairs, listen to music, or explore the land. They are equipped with three screens (though they are only currently using one) and show a mix of new, first-run films and older films. Be sure to stop by their old-fashioned concession stand for popcorn or “drive-in classic” clam cakes. Box office opens at 6 p.m. Movies begin shortly after dusk.
The rules: Sound is transmitted through FM radio only.
Admission: $25.00 per carload.
Milford Drive-In, New Hampshire
570 Elm St, Milford, NH. 603-673-4090. milforddrivein.com.
This fun theater combines movies, food, and ice cream for a unique family-friendly experience. The owners are all about community service and strive to provide the best atmosphere for an outdoor film. They have two screens and a full-service concession store with everything from popcorn to homemade brownies. They also sell bug spray and other basics. The playground is open for kids until the movie begins. Box office opens at 6:15 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 7:15 p.m. on Thursday and Sunday.
The rules: Tickets are color coded with parking poles (yellow tickets park next to yellow, green tickets park next to gray). Pets are allowed but should be leashed at all times. No switching screens, using grills, fireworks, or sparklers, or sitting on top of vehicles. Oversized vehicles must park in the rear. Credit cards are accepted.
Admission: $25 per car up to 6 people. $5 for each additional person. Next
Northern Nights Drive-in, New Hampshire
51 Causeway St, Lancaster, NH. 603-788-3558. northernnights.com.
This family-owned and operated theater continues to show classic films in 35 mm format. They offer on-site camping with the movie for an additional $10. The snack bar is kept busy on a typical night, serving up entirely homemade foods, including quirky items like Fried Dough Pizza and Pulled Pork Nachos. They are currently working on a restaurant addition as well. Stop by and enjoy the laidback atmosphere with double features nightly. Box office opens at 7:30 p.m. Movies start at dark.
The rules: Cash only.
Admission: $7 per adult, $3 for kids 12 years old and under. Price is for two movies.
Rustic Tri-Vue Drive-In, Rhode Island
1195 Eddie Dowling Hwy, North Smithfield, RI. 407-769-7601. rustictri.com.
This is the only running drive-in in the state. They have three screens playing two first-run feature films each. Movies show rain or shine. The snack bar has a wide selection from rustic clam cakes to chicken tenders. Box office opens at 7 p.m. and movies begin at dusk.
The rules: Speed limit is 5 miles per hour. Dogs are allowed everywhere except the snack bar and restrooms. Smoking is not allowed. Cars are parked with the smallest in the front and largest in the back. Guests are asked to not sit on the roofs of their vehicles and roof hatches must be restrained low. Campers and oversized vans are allowed at an extra $10 charge. Credit cards are accepted.
Admission: $25 per carload. Passengers must meet Rhode Island seat belt laws. Next
Sunset Drive-in, Vermont
155 Porter’s Point Road, Colchester, Vt. 802- 862-1800. sunsetdrivein.com.
This gorgeous theater-with-a-view offers double features on four colossal screens. They have a snack bar, playground, and mini putt, making this a great place to bring the kids for a late afternoon outing. Gates open at 7 p.m.
The rules: Speed limit is 10 miles per hour. Oversized vehicles should park in the last two rows. Guests are not allowed to sit on roofs of vehicles but can sit in the backs of trucks, etc. Children must be supervised at all times.
Admission: $8 for adults. Children under 12 are $2.50. Back to the beginning
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